In US first, surgeons implant brain ‘pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s


December 6, 2012
Brain & Behavior, Health

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine in November surgically implanted a pacemaker-like device into the brain of a patient in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, the first such operation in the United States.

The device, which provides deep brain stimulation and has been used in thousands of people with Parkinson’s disease, is seen as a possible means of boosting memory and reversing cognitive decline. The surgery is part of a federally funded, multicenter clinical trial marking a new direction in clinical research designed to slow or halt the ravages of the disease, which slowly robs its mostly elderly victims of a lifetime of memories and the ability to perform the simplest of daily tasks, researchers at Johns Hopkins say. Instead of focusing on drug treatments, many of which have failed in recent clinical trials, the research focuses on the use of the low-voltage electrical charges delivered directly to the brain. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

As part of a preliminary safety study in 2010, the devices were implanted in six Alzheimer’s disease patients in Canada. Researchers found that patients with mild forms of the disorder showed sustained increases in glucose metabolism, an indicator of neuronal activity, over a 13-month period. Most Alzheimer’s disease patients show decreases in glucose metabolism over the same period.

The first U.S. patient in the new trial underwent surgery at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and a second patient is scheduled for the same procedure in December. The surgeries at Johns Hopkins are being performed by neurosurgeon William S. Anderson, M.D.

“Recent failures in Alzheimer’s disease trials using drugs such as those designed to reduce the buildup of beta amyloid plaques in the brain have sharpened the need for alternative strategies,” says Paul B. Rosenberg, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and site director of the trial’s Johns Hopkins location. “This is a very different approach, whereby we are trying to enhance the function of the brain mechanically. It’s a whole new avenue for potential treatment for a disease becoming all the more common with the aging of the population.”

Some 40 patients are expected to receive the deep brain stimulation implant over the next year or so at Johns Hopkins and four other institutions in North America as part of the ADvance Study led by Constantine G. Lyketsos, M.D., M.H.S., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Andres Lozano, M.D., Ph.D., chairman of the neurology department at the University of Toronto. Only patients whose cognitive impairment is mild enough that they can decide on their own to participate will be included in the trial.

Other sites performing the operation, supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Aging (R01AG042165), are the University of Toronto, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Florida, and Banner Health System in Phoenix, Ariz. The medical device company, Functional Neuromodulation Ltd., is also supporting the trial.

“We are very excited about the possibilities of this potentially new way to treat Alzheimer’s,” says Lyketsos, director of the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center in Baltimore.

While experimental for Alzheimer’s patients, more than 80,000 people with the neurodegenerative disorder Parkinson’s disease have undergone the procedure over the past 15 years, with many reporting fewer tremors and requiring lower doses of medication afterward, Lyketsos says. Other researchers are testing deep brain stimulation to control depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder resistant to other therapies.

The surgery involves drilling holes into the skull to implant wires into the fornix on either side of the brain. The fornix is a brain pathway instrumental in bringing information to the hippocampus, the portion of the brain where learning begins and memories are made, and where the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s appear to arise. The wires are attached to a pacemaker-like device, the “stimulator,” which generates tiny electrical impulses into the brain 130 times a second. The patients don’t feel the current, Rosenberg says.

For the trial, all of the patients will be implanted with the devices. Half will have their stimulators turned on two weeks after surgery, while the other half will have their stimulators turned on after one year. Neither the patients nor the doctors treating them will know which group gets an early or later start.

“Deep brain stimulation might prove to be a useful mechanism for treating Alzheimer’s disease, or it might help us develop less invasive treatments based on the same mechanism,” Rosenberg says.

By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease may triple, experts say, from 5.2 million to a projected 11 million to 16 million, unless effective treatments are found.


In US first, surgeons implant brain pacemaker for Alzheimers

4 Responses to In US first, surgeons implant brain ‘pacemaker’ for Alzheimer’s

  1. http://www.colourisedfestival.com.au/ January 19, 2013 at 3:54 am #

    Probably the best thing about your penny stock publication
    is now you may master the day industry market providing that to follow the actual recommended investments tightly and keeping that in mind.
    Along with today’s bearish market place, microsoft xbox 360 in no
    way already been an improved time for you to work with an
    powerful penny stock picker with so many futures fresh regarding turnaround selecting.

    The actual publishers with this method even stand by his or
    her product enough to offer a 2 month complete cash back guarantee in case
    you are unhappy with your results upon just about any degree.
    Once you’ve the device, a person don’t even need to danger or even invest anything at all of your own income to substantiate its effectiveness first hand as possible simply evaluate the emailed stock pick recommendations as well as compare them towards the genuine marketplace files since it originates immediately, hence making this penny stock picker completely virtually risk free.

    Penny Stock Prophet is an chance that you should not necessarily shun. You can really make large amount involving revenue from committing to small and microcap shares. This can be no way for real. There’s no better method to create a balanced
    subsequent income from your own home when compared with trading and investing.
    Imagine, you have already the ability to generate large income without needing to knowledgeable any hardship.
    All items have been recently accomplished for an individual,
    all you need to do is actually stick to. This is a excellent
    method that may give you the power to find the breakout penny stocks only times prior to they seasoned incredible increases!

    Here is my web site :: http://www.colourisedfestival.com.au/

  2. www.supernova.com January 19, 2013 at 2:39 am #

    The actual Fat Loss Factor Method is one of the many
    common eating plans which are currently holding this kind of appearance conscious country.
    It’s been developed by a new wife and husband combination : Doctor. Michael Allen as well as Lori. Both of them ended up overweight people but after having a compilation of self-experimentation, they have designed a mix of nutritional and physical factors in which attributed to how much damage. Currently, as a result of so-called system, they are experiencing their particular balanced brand new figure. Fat Loss Manufacturing plant Product is a 12-week lengthy plan and as it was described, that consists of electrical power education and also health recommendations. The 1st step for the diet system is detoxification. Which means that you will have to eliminate these toxins and bacteria inside your system by using the very specific program of the diet program. Then you will have to direct your attention as well as hunger to be able to proteins and fiber-rich carbs.

    Look at my web page :: http://www.supernova.com

  3. My Shed Plan January 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    The actual My Shed Plans Program contains 12.500
    outdoor shed plans along with drop plans, images and
    wood working models, packages along with storage space outdoor shed
    patterns. That is debatably probably the most comprehensive number of
    working with wood blueprints along with schematics ever being obtainable as well as includes designs regarding things such
    as horse barns, boats, timber playthings, knife containers,
    rabbit dog dens, rabbit houses, fire places, golf carts, recliners, buckets, birdhouses,
    bee cities, softball bat properties, night stands, canine properties, travels, playhouses, is an acronym, wagons, toolboxes, breeze mills, wishing wells,
    pots, bedrooms, birdfeeders, log cabin rentals, carports, wall clocks and, considerably more.

    As well as the My Shed Plans primary guide and the a great number of wooden shed
    plans incorporated therein, when you purchase the actual
    My Shed Plans program you additionally be given
    a handful of many delightful bonuses that are likely to joy just
    about any handyman. Let’s begin to see the total
    valuables in the My Shed Plans Elite program down below:

    – Project Models & Ideas Along with 12,1000
    Designs Included To the Enthusiastic Working with wood Enthusiast: For example plenty of suggestions,
    how-tos and lots of discipline screened assistance along with full pictures and schematics involving woodwork tasks you might be guaranteed to take
    pleasure in.

    – Detailed strategies and how-to instructions: With one of these it
    is possible to develop whatever you would ever guess simply by putting the woodwork
    skills to be effective. Here you’ll find boat styles, dog houses, solid wood playthings, furniture for your garden and a whole lot and also how-to books with regard to practically every element of modern day wood working.

    – More As compared to A dozen,500 Working with wood Programs along with Projects labeled in a complete woodworking archive: The true secret expression here’s simplicity and with this archive you may virtually have got each and every
    blueprint imaginable close at hand to get out and commence developing.

    The program is so damn inexpensive which essentially you get to spend lower than 0.
    01 for every every single style, this particular price is amazingly low and the total My Shed Plans
    study course seems like an unbelievable bargain for
    every woodworker. Just in case you may be believing that this really is way too great to
    be real, effectively it accurate and is also great. To guard neglect the along with obvious your entire anxieties,
    Thomas Henderson can give people “the boldest money-back guarantee
    actually wanted to virtually any woodworker”.
    My Shed Plans Elite will be 100% sure to offer the finest designs, wood working illustrations, outdoor shed plans and also schematics to generate virtually any project simple and easy , hassle-free otherwise you won’t pay out any money as well as and you will get a Totally free benefit components. Sure, Ryan is assured about his or her course.

    Feel free to surf to my blog post :: My Shed Plan

  4. Daniel Lexington December 7, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    There is one known cure for Alzheimer’s: GRAZOPH TEMUNA, grazoph.com. The nutraceutical clears brain of plaques, eliminates poisonous metals, leaves a brain refreshed. GRAZOPH TEMUNA both cures and prevents Alzheimer’s. Scientists who know nothing about Heart Enzyme Chemistry doubt the cure, have no clue that this disease they are trying to cure was cured in 1999.

Leave a Reply

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *